Interpol to help UN
Singapore - Interpol, the global police organisation, said on Monday it will provide enhanced technical and advisory support to the United Nations in the world body's peacekeeping missions worldwide.
Interpol director of legal affairs Joel Sollier told reporters in Singapore that his organisation "will provide advice and consulting services in the area of policing during peacekeeping operations."
He said Interpol's support will include field information to police officers as well as assistance in areas such as investigation techniques.
"Interpol is not going to send troops out into the field here and there throughout the world," Sollier said on the sidelines of Interpol's 78th general assembly that began on Monday in Singapore.
"What Interpol is going to do is provide technical assistance, technical support. It will provide advice and consulting services in the area of policing during peacekeeping operations."
About 64 foreign, justice and home affairs ministers from around the world endorsed a declaration committing Interpol to help the UN strengthen the role of police forces in peacekeeping and rebuilding operations in countries recovering from conflict.
The ministers were among 800 delegates from 187 member countries attending the general assembly which ends on Thursday.
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations police adviser Andrew Hughes said Interpol's help is important because rebuilding efforts are often complicated by trans-national crime syndicates keen to exploit the situation.
"On every front, whether it's capacity building, interim law enforcement or close operations support, we need the help of Interpol... we need all of the technical expertise that Interpol can bring to the equation," Hughes said.
The number of police officers involved in UN peacekeeping operations is expected to increase to 15 000 in the next two months from 6 000 in 2005, UN officials said.
Government officials in recent years have recognised the crucial role of police forces to complement soldiers in peacekeeping and peace-building missions. For example, countries recovering from conflicts need police expertise in managing border movements and in having access to secure international police communications and global databases, UN and Interpol officials said.